’Eaters Can Lead With Empathy

There’s a certain feeling, like a stone in the pit of our stomachs, when we turn on the television and see an attack on our country. Even thinking about that morning of 9/11, experiencing it years before we even comprehended the true meaning of what ensued, we feel that sinking feeling.
When our country comes under attack, whether it be of domestic or foreign origin, our communities come together in unity. Our Commander-in-Chief assumes the role of Healer-in-Chief as Americans stand together mourning the tragic loss of our fellow citizens.
Events like the Sandy Hook shooting and the recent Boston bombings shake us to our cores — the sense of safety in our domestic sphere is broken, and with it, our blindness to the outside world. And even in our small community of Irvine, removed from the onslaught of violence around the world, we experience tragedy when we lose a family member, a friend or a colleague. And suddenly, we’re forced to feel emotions upon which we rarely call.
A true gift to humanity and an altruistic trait that ensures a social code, empathy allows us to feel compassion — to be not only good companions but also good human beings. And there’s an importance to why we’ve evolved this trait.
Without a sense of empathy there’s no sense of community; with no community, we stand alone. Even as the adults that we are, we depend on our parents, our families and one another to stay safe and survive. And as a community of Anteaters, a part of a larger community of Californians and ultimately global citizens, we can accomplish anything.
But as our global consciousness expands, it becomes more difficult to comprehend the span of what’s going in the world every day.
Thinking of our individual roles in our community, the main importance of our lives is placed on how we help others — what we contribute to better our communities constitutes who we are.
And whether you give blood, give your time or even give your thoughts and well-wishes, there’s importance in it all.
It’s a sad reality that we face, but it seems to take tragedies like these to jolt our systems, making us aware of our mortality and our unity. Our generation, the social generation who has the world literally at our fingertips, continues to change the face of the Earth — for better or for worse.
We raise millions for research, drive reliefs for foreign disasters and take responsibility for the mark that we are leaving on our environment. Standing together, we’re changing the world. But what we need to remind ourselves of is that every day there is struggling, and every day there are those who are living in terror. Sadly, in spite of all the good we do, there is a never-ending war out there against injustice and pain, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up the fight.
We, as a community of Anteaters, as a generation of future leaders, need to do our best to change the world for the better. We must use our empathy and all of our blessed intelligence to give voices to those who can’t speak out and to make sure that our world is somewhere we’re not only happy to live in, but one that we’re proud of as well.

Please send all comments to opinion@newuniversity.org. Include your name, year and major.